Undergraduate Cybersecurity Network Launched

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BHEF Meeting

University System of Maryland (USM)-Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF) Undergraduate Cybersecurity Network held inaugural meeting at University of Maryland.

In recent years, cybersecurity career opportunities in the state of Maryland and the nation have drastically expanded in response to growing threats to our national and personal security from hackers, cyber criminals, organized crime, and terrorists. A 2013 study by the Abell Foundation and CyberPoint International identified Maryland as one of the nation’s "hotbeds in cybersecurity," with approximately 20,000 openings in cyber by approximately 1800 companies. However, the state of Maryland's, and the nation’s, demand for skilled cyber professionals to lead and protect is drastically outpacing higher education’s ability to produce individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge.

In response to this severe shortage, the University System of Maryland (USM)-Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF) Undergraduate Cybersecurity Network, a coalition of Maryland area higher education institutions, industry, government, and other stakeholders, has launched a collective, strategic response to inspire students to pursue cybersecurity careers. On Friday, April 5, 2013, Network representatives gathered for the inaugural meeting, hosted by the University of Maryland.

With multi-sector members, this Network is committed to working collaboratively to align the cyber workforce requirements of industry and government with higher education, create new learning experiences for students, particularly for women and underrepresented minorities, develop innovative programs to expand the cyber talent pipeline including through outreach to elementary, middle, and high school students, and address issues of critical interest to cyber workforce development.

In coordination with the Undergraduate Cybersecurity Network, the University of Maryland and the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC) have co-developed the nation’s first cybersecurity honors, living-learning program: the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) program. Additionally, the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and NGC have announced a Cyber Scholars Program. Both programs will admit their first classes of students in fall 2013.

The Undergraduate Cybersecurity Network will convene regularly to share resources, knowledge, and experiences in order to develop skilled cybersecurity talent in Maryland. The Network is committed to the idea that working on this issue collectively is not simply better than facing it alone – it is absolutely necessary.

Published April 16, 2013